Lupus Flare Ups
By Walter Sorochan

Posted August 03, 2010; Updated July 23, 2013.   Disclaimer The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice.

The real causes of Lupus [ systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) ] are controversial and unknown.  Lupus is not fully understood and there is controversy about it.  Lupus is recognized as an autoimmune disease that may be controlled.  Lib Med: SLE  But there are times when a lupus person loses control and the lupus condition gets worse and one feels ill.  This is referred to as a "lupus flare up."

It takes some kind of trigger to set off a flare: 

* Bacterial infections
* Environmental chemicals
* Excess sunlight
* Poor diet
* Lack of vitamin D and other nutrients
* Exercise or lack of it
* Stress and not enough rest  

Lupus recognized since 1948: "One of the best papers on systemic lupus erythematosusis is by Ayvazian and Badger (1948).  They describe three cases of nurses who were literally vaccinated to death. The authors surveyed a group of 750 nurses who trained at a large municipal hospital between 1932 and 1946, and detailed the cases of three nurses who were vaccinated with a multitude of vaccines over a period of time and developed and succumbed to disseminated lupus erythematosus."  Read more about this bizarre incidence: Scheibner: adverse effects of vaccines 

"Shocking was the information on April 25, 2011, that our own federal government conceded that vaccines can cause lupus!  USA Govt concedes vaccines cause lupus  It took a lawsuit to confirm this reality.  While this confirmation was good news, the federal government continues to insist that everyone should get vaccinations.  This is speaking with "forked tongue!" 

These are things that one can control to prevent/minimize lupus flare ups:

Bacterial Infections:  There is new research that may link lupus to bacteria and viruses.  This opens a new window of research into the possible causes of lupus and opportunities in dealing with lupus.

A lupus flare up may give clues as to the reason for the flare up.  Some good common sense helps.  A lupus person may come in contact with persons infected with bacteria; and get infected.   This may increase the white cell count and cause a minor lupus flare up. [ references below support this contention ]  Flare up symptoms may be readily overlooked and misinterpreted.  Such background information may be critical to prescribing therapy.

"Active lupus and an infection may share many symptoms. Furthermore, infection can induce a lupus flare or be difficult to distinguish from a lupus flare. A low white blood cell count is suggestive of active lupus (although certain viruses can also give a low white count) while a high count suggests infection." Low white cell count

What to do?

Suggestion: Consult with your lupus doctor, get blood and urine tests and  and try the simple and obvious first. 

Bacteria may be the reason for a flare up!  "When your white count is low, consider additional personal hygiene measures to reduce the risk of infection. Examples of these could include:

* Washing your hands frequently, and reminding those who come in contact with you to do the same.
* Keeping fingernails short and neatly trimmed, being careful not to trim cuticles or cut nails so short they bleed.
* Avoiding persons with colds or infections. Don't be embarrassed to wear a surgical face mask in crowded circumstances.
* Avoiding fresh flowers, plants or fruits that can carry bacteria and fungi.
* Inspecting for cuts and scratches which should be cleaned and have a new dressing applied at least once per day.
* Cleaning your mouth several times each day by brushing and the regular use of an antiseptic mouthwash."  Low white cell count

Restoring a flare up?

Here is an example of restoring a lupus flare up: 

"It is important to try to figure out the cause of this disorder," Jody No, N.D., a naturopathic doctor at the Brattleboro Naturopathic Clinic in Vermont. says, "and to work out a treatment plan based on each person's symptoms." Supplements often play a role in alternative treatments, but you should get your doctor's approval before taking supplements to treat lupus. You'll also need to consult a holistic physician or naturopath to determine the dosages best suited to you.

Knocking Out Free Radicals

When inflammation occurs, the body produces more free radicals, the unstable molecules that can harm cells. One of the first lines of defense that a naturopathic doctor uses against inflammation is extra amounts of nutrients that neutralize the radicals. These nutrients, called antioxidants, are vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, and selenium. They also include zinc, which has antioxidant activity, and phytochemicals such as bioflavonoids, which are found in plants and herbs, Dr. No says.

Dr. No recommends that her patients take a mixture of antioxidant nutrients daily with food. She suggests 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C in divided doses, 400 to 600 international units (IU) of vitamin E, 200 to 400 micrograms of selenium, and 15 to 30 milligrams of zinc in the form of zinc picolinate or citrate.

She also recommends 1 to 2 milligrams a day of copper and 5 to 15 milligrams of manganese. Both help the body make its own antioxidants. These trace minerals should be taken only in these recommended doses to avoid getting toxic amounts."  Noe: Lupus

NOTE: Dr. Noe has overlooked the two most important nutrients ... vitamin D and magnesium! [ per Walter Sorochan ].

Environmental hazards such chemicals and EMF

Exposure to hazardous chemicals and electro magnetic forces [ EMF ] can create superoxidants that the body cannot get rid of fast enough. These superoxidants or free radicals accumulate because the body does not have enough antioxidants to neutralize them.

The solution in this case is to remove the hazard and ingest a lot of antioxidants.

Excess sunlight

Get out of the sun; or minimize exposure to the sun. Too much sunlight creates free radicals that need to be neutralized by antioxidants.

Poor diet

Sloppy eating habits, like nibbling on junk foods, can cause a flare up. Avoid all processed foods, including white flour, sugar, candy, meats, dairy products, preserved and salty foods and soft drinks. This is a tall order! Many lupus persons, who have lupus symptoms under control, tend to drop their guard and, feeling good, go out on a limb and begin eating rich processed foods. Lupus persons need discipline and need to avoid the temptations of an unhealthy diet. Focus on eating whole grains, fresh raw vegetables and fruits. A good diet must provide a lot of the second best sources of antioxidants

Lack of vitamin D and other nutrients

In spite of what the controversy spins that sunlight causes skin cancer and that sunlight should be avoided, even lupus persons need vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for regulating thousands of body processes. Neglecting to supply the body with vitamin D3 may do more harm and cause additional chronic diseases and disorders. These diseases  complicate an already compromised lupus body. The best and safest source of vitamin D is UV B light direct from the sun. About 10 minutes of sunlight a day should help the skin synthesize an adequate amount of Vitamin D3. Thereafter, get out of the sun. An alternative to sunlight exposure is to take a supplement of 2000IU of vitamin D3 each day. Reminder: Ingesting a vitamin D supplement requires that one also ingest the proper amounts of essential magnesium, calcium and other cofactors. Even a good diet of healthy foods may still cause nutrient deficiencies.

Exercise:

Exercise tunes up the appestat in the brain that, in turn, regulates body metabolism. Physical activity also releases endorphins that make one feel good.

Stress and Rest:

Emotional stress can trigger a flare up. Learning stress coping skills can help to manage stressful situations.  Rest and sleep can be a part of stress management. Sleep can  help to recharge the brain. Think of the brain as a battery that needs to be charged up. A rested brain gives the body new pep and energy.

Summary

There may be more factors, but if a lupus person pays attention to these BIG eight, then the chances are in favor of controlling flare ups and being able to live an active and a long and healthy life.  

Collectively, the goal should be to bring about an alkali body , and restoring the blood pH to about 7.3 [ normal ]. 

The symptoms can slowly go away and the lupus person can go into remission and feel better. Staying in remission requires a lupus person to have superb discipline to manager her/his life. Managing a lupus life needs constant 24/7 vigilance and total control to maintain a healthy body.  The key is preventing a lupus flare up in the first place; such as eating a constant diet that maintains an alkali body, and having a constant body supply of antioxidants to prevent the accumulation of free radicals [ this requires a daily healthy diet ].  A good manager schedules time for all eight preventers each day! There is no shortcut to keeping lupus under control.

Eating a natural healthy diet is most essential in keeping lupus under control.  Avoid processed foods, preservatives, sweets, corn syrup and other synthetic foods. Healthy food isn't why we consumers dine out.  Get your vitamins, minerals and amino acids from natural foods.  Nutritional supplements may be fine but the research on just how much of the supplements are actually absorbed into the blood stream remains a mystery.   Research on lupus and nutrients is skimpy at best Weak health Research

A person with lupus should explore the benefits of ingesting chlorophyll --- found in green leafy vegetables and supplements like chlorella, spirulina and barley grass

For more health information: Go to main menu

Feedback to author: E-mail

References:

Dong Juan, et la., "Initial Presentation of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Masquerading as Bacterial Meningitis," JABFP, November–December 2001 Vol. 14No. 6.   Dong: meningitis

Hasty, Susan E., Publisher and staff, "Bacteria May Trigger Disease Symptoms," Women's Health Weekly, March 20th, 1995.  Hasty: bacteria may trigger

"Low White Count: Overview," Diagnose me.com, Jul 20, 2010. Low white cell count 

"Active lupus and an infection may share many symptoms. Further, infection can induce a lupus flare or be difficult to distinguish from a lupus flare. A low white blood cell count is suggestive of active lupus (although certain viruses can also give a low white count) while a high count suggests infection."

Lupus Foundation of America, "Understanding Lupus,"   Understanding Lupus

"Lupus Research Institute investigators connect bacteria, viruses, sunlight, and more to disease start and flare," May 28, 2008. LRI: bacteria may be linked to lupus

Oz, "Dr Oz: The Unexpected Diseases Men Get: Lupus & Breast Cancer," By admin, July 15, 2010.   Oz: Lupus

Noe Jody, "Lupus," Mother nature.com  Noe: Lupus

Reinberg Steven, "Stomach Bacteria Might Trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis," Executive Health, Bloomberg Business Week,  June 17, 2010. [ combination of genetics, environment caused mice to develop disease ]  Reinberg: R Arthritis

US National Library of Medicine, "Systemic lupus erythematosus,"  Lib Med: SLE

Wong Cathy, "Natural Remedies for Bacterial Overgrowth," About.com Guide, July 23, 2007.   Wong: bact overgrowth

Zhang W, Reichlin M., "A possible link between infection with burkholderia bacteria and systemic lupus erythematosus based on epitope mimicry,"  Zhang: bacteria with lupus link "These data support our hypothesis that the origin of anti-dsDNA antibodies in SLE may be associated with burkholderia bacterial infection."